Jodi's Running Blog

Gotta keep going…

Remaining active during pregnancy0

Posted by jodi in Ramblings on Running (Tuesday September 8, 2009 at 2:08 pm)

As I write this, I am 37 weeks pregnant with my second child. My goal, similar to that during my first pregnancy, was to continue running throughout the gestational period, but alas – between working full-time, chasing a toddler, and just the exhaustion that accompanies pregnancy, it was not to be. What I have been able to do, which I think makes an extraordinary difference to the psyche and to health during pregnancy, is continued to walk to the vast majority of my destinations.

My workplace, which is approximately 1.5 miles from my home, remained the best source of walking, between frequently using the stairs and traversing long corridors with frequency; but leaving my home 20 minutes early each day gave me the nice morning walk to work itself that I needed. Until about two months ago, I was walking to and from work twice weekly and either to or from work another one or two days each week. On other days, I was taking the bus, getting off one or two stops early to build in at least a few extra blocks of walking. Then, there are walks with my husband and two year old son on the weekends, a time when we can all reconnect with one another after a busy week.

I have now reached a point where the walk to and from work is a bit much, but I still enjoy walks in the evenings and on the weekends at a leisurely pace with my family. I think it will be easier to lose the pregnancy weight after the baby is born as I have not gained much mass aside from where it should be. I think it will keep me from feeling the “baby blues” as I feel more connected with my surroundings. I think it will mean good healthy role modeling for my son while physiologically benefitting the unborn baby. Overall, remaining active has been a good decision.

After baby is born, I’m giving myself a week to recover at my own pace, and then the pedometer is returning back to its rightful place on my belt. 🙂 I look forward to the outdoors time, strolling with my (growing) family, and soon enough hitting the pavement with my running shoes and Garmin Forerunner again. I also look forward to cheering my husband on in the Salmon Days 5k run in October (my first year not running it since moving here, but I will be at the finish line with baby snuggled in the Bjorn), and encouraging my son as he sprints across a parking lot in his first 1k fun run.

Pedometers bring extra motivation3

Posted by jodi in Walking (Sunday January 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm)

As a neurologist, I am frequently counseling my patients on the importance of physical activity in their daily lives. Remaining active reduces the risk and severity of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. In addition, it is known that obesity is a risk factor for many forms of cancer, and of course more activity helps to keep obesity at bay. After a patient has a stroke, I have the privilege of assisting him in making lifestyle changes as a form of secondary prevention.

In the past, I have recommended that people wear pedometers if they are uncertain as to how active they are. A researcher in Japan claimed to have evidence that taking 10,000 steps daily was the way to better health and fitness, and it sparked a national campaign. Currently, various groups have implemented the 10,000 steps notion into their guidelines. The official recommendation from the office of the U.S. Surgeon General is to participate in 30 minutes daily of brisk exercise. Personally, I believe the nation would be a much fitter place if everyone engaged in 30 minutes of brisk exercise daily, whether or not they were reaching 10,000 steps. However, 10,000 steps is likely a mark we should still attempt to achieve, as it is more likely to promote actual weight loss, whereas the first goal strives for fitness and overall well-being.

I was certain that I was reaching 10,000 steps daily with little effort required. After all, I’m on my feet much of the day, walk to the bus stop and back, and take regular walks with Evan and Gabriel. In addition, I try to run regularly, even if I only make it a few days each week. In an experiment to see if I was following my own advice that I give to patients, I began wearing a pedometer for the New Year. Wow, what a surprise!

After completing my first week with the pedometer, here are my results:

– From 1/4/09 through 1/10/09, I took 56,363 steps.
– Average steps daily: 8,051
– Most active day: 12,525 steps (included a 5k run in the morning)
– Least active day: 3,752 steps

I know my average would have been lower had I not been wearing a pedometer, as knowing that each step is being counted gives one extra incentive to walk several blocks to the next bus stop instead of catching the one right at the corner. There was also a day when, rather than catching a bus home from the V.A. Hospital, I actually walked the 3.2 miles home, keenly aware that each step would boost my weekly average.

This illustrates a few interesting points. First, even those of us who consider ourselves very active may not be as active as we think we are. Next, 10,000 steps is a lot of steps! Depending on stride length, that could fall anywhere from 5-7 miles daily, and I doubt many Americans are making this goal daily (although they should strive for it). Third, wearing the pedometer is a great way to motivate people to build extra activity into their days!

I have refined my advice for patients a bit based on my own experience. It goes something like this:

– Wear the pedometer everywhere for one week. Keep track of the number of steps being taken daily in a log book.
– Next, calculate the average steps daily based on that week’s log book numbers.
– Aim to increase the number of steps being taken daily by 500. If that becomes more comfortable and routine over another week, then increase by another 500 daily the following week, and so on, until reaching a goal of 10,000 steps daily.
– Build 30 minutes of moderate exercise into the week, at least three days weekly to begin. After a few weeks, increase exercise frequency to four times weekly. The goal should be five times/week.

In the meantime, I will continue to wear my pedometer and track my own steps (in addition to regular exercise – my preferred form, of course, is running). My hope is to catch people with multiple stroke risk factors after a TIA or mild stroke has occurred, and assist them in making changes that will prevent the next, more catastrophic event from occurring. My enthusiasm for this is high, and it’s a New Year.

For further reading on building activity into daily life, click here for a website I found helpful.

I did it! A Personal Best 10k0

Posted by jodi in Races (Sunday October 5, 2008 at 9:07 pm)

I indicated in this post a desire to finally beat the 50 minute mark for the 10k race. I have not been desperately training for years trying to meet this goal, but it has always been a milestone I hoped I could achieve. Today, I did it! I turn 30 in a week, so I was able to do it before the big birthday. 🙂

Evan, Gabriel, and I took part in Issaquah, WA’s Salmon Days 10k Rotary Run this morning, all with positive experiences. Evan pushed Little G in the Bob Revolution stroller in the 5k so that I could go for a PR in the 10k. The weather was ideal – 50’s and sunny. I had my Garmin Forerunner to measure my statistics – and most importantly – to pace me. I decided to aim for 8:00/mile, but not to push myself to the point of exhaustion or pain early in the race. I was concerned about finishing, because I’ve only run twice in the past two weeks (the training has fallen off a bit from the busy schedule), so the distance was a bit intimidating, but I thought shooting for eight minute miles and keeping a steady, comfortable pace might enable me to finish the full 6.2 miles.

Statistics:

Gun Time: 49:17 (chip time was 49:05)
Mile 1: 8:12
Mile 2: 8:09
Mile 3: 8:03
(5k: 25:15)
Mile 4: 7:47
Mile 5: 7:39
Mile 6: 7:43
0.2 Miles: 1:44

Then, onto a great family day after the race. 🙂 I think we’re all taking tomorrow off (from working out, not from working…).

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Week in Summary0

Posted by jodi in Training Diary (Sunday September 7, 2008 at 12:35 pm)

I have had some great running experiences this week, the best of which was my 4.25 mile Labor Day race in Woodinville, WA. Gabriel accompanied me in the stroller. There is nothing quite like pushing a 25 pound child in a stroller with the front wheel locked, and having to generate upper body strength constantly to keep it straight or to maneuver turns. Lately when I finish running with him, my arms have received the greater workout over my lower extremities! In any case, running with Gabriel has been a great chance for further bonding with my boy. He’s delightful, cooperative, and starts babbling/singing to me about two miles into every run.

Here is the summary of my week:

  • Sunday, 8/31: ran/walked easy 3 miles (outdoors), pushing Gabriel in the stroller; 33:15 total (11:04/mile); post-call on this day, but wanted some gentle mileage
    Monday, 9/1: Super Jock N Jill Half-Marathon and 4.25 mile run (I opted for the shorter of the two choices), pushing Gabriel in the stroller: 37:03 total (8:43/mile).
         – Stats: Mile 1 – 9:21, Mile 2 – 8:15, Mile 3 – 8:41, Mile 4 – 8:51, Final 1/4 mile – 1:55; placed third in my age group out of 26; 43rd overall (women) out of 214 total
    Wednesday, 9/3: ran/walked easy 3.1 miles (outdoors) with the family (which included pushing Gabriel in the stroller), 37:22 (12:04/mile)
    Thursday, 9/4: ran 4 miles (treadmill – 5:30AM before work), 38:18 (9:35/mile)
    Saturday, 9/5: ran 5 miles (outdoors), 41:54 (8:22/mile) – this was a terrific run, run at a comfortable pace, from my home across the I-90 pedestrian bridge toward Mercer Island. Gorgeous weather, lots of fellow runners and cyclists out, and a little excitement over the thought of getting closer to that sub-50 minute 10k one month from now. 🙂
  • Total mileage for the week: 19.35 miles

I’m looking forward to another week of fitness. It’s feeling wonderful for running to be fun again. When I first started back, it felt a bit like a chore, which was not going to work for me, since there is a lot of strategy that goes into squeezing in workouts. Now that it’s feeling fun, I can get myself out of bed at 5:30AM more easily, or I can push the stroller more eagerly.

Here’s to another week!

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Final week of August 2008 – review1

Posted by jodi in Training Diary (Saturday August 30, 2008 at 9:29 am)

What an eventful week. Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination as he continues to strive for the presidency. John McCain named his VP choice in Alaska governor, Sarah Palin. Residents of New Orleans are fleeing from a hurricane only three years after Hurricane Katrina. My thoughts are definitely with them at this time.

It has also been an eventful week for running (for me, anyway). Still fired up about the men’s and women’s Olympic marathons, I remain enthusiastic enough to drag myself out of bed very early on some mornings. I managed to run four times this past week, and I’m once again getting that “toned” feeling that one has after several weeks of consistent exercise. Love it! I’m going to try to start posting my weekly summaries of mileage as I prepare for the Salmon Days 10k on October 5th.

Sunday, 8/24: 4 miles (treadmill) – no time available
Wednesday, 8/27: 3.5 miles (treadmill) – no time available
Thursday, 8/28: 5 miles (outdoors – Judkins Park/Smith Park/Lake Washington Blvd) – 46:08 (9:14/mile)
Saturday, 8/30: 3.1 miles (treadmill) – 29:34 (9:32/mile)

I’m getting there, albeit slowly. I keep finding I’m tempted to run faster or farther, but I’m still fearful of injury as it seems that each time I seriously commit to training something happens (ie, the pubic ramus stress fracture in 2006). I know it’s best to slowly build a mileage base and not to push things too quickly, but I’m conscious of the fact that if I become injured, then I will not be running at all, which is worse than running slowly. Therefore, I’m mostly not recording times because I don’t want to be disappointed and I don’t want the pressure there to push myself. It would be nice to finally run that sub-50 minute 10k on October 5th, but I’m not there yet, and I don’t want to be upset if I fall short when, in reality, I’m just grateful that I’m back into the sport regularly, despite many demands on my time.

I think I’m going to take Little G to Woodinville, WA on Labor Day for a 4.25 mile race. It might be fun to push him in the stroller for a morning jog! I love my runs with him the best. 🙂 I’m still hopeful that he will want to try running after accompanying his mother on her outings.

Still running0

Posted by jodi in Ramblings on Running,Upcoming Runs (Wednesday August 27, 2008 at 9:24 am)

After beginning to run with any regularity again at the end of July, I’m still at it one month later. I have been running 3-4 times weekly, three to four miles per run. This morning I was going to go for four, and stopped at 3.5 because of a pesky side cramp that would not take its leave. I have been experiencing a lot of these lately, which I suppose means I should slow down, but I already feel like I’m running slowly, given how I used to run.

On Sunday afternoon during a particularly successful 4 mile run, I was contemplating what sorts of distances I would like to take on in the next few months. My short-term goal is the Salmon Days 10k on October 5th in Issaquah, WA. At the end of October is the Pumpkin Push 5k, and then I even considered the Seattle Half-Marathon on November 30th. Unfortunately I am on call that day, so I am in the process of trying to switch call days with one of my colleagues. I may not be able to find anyone, though. I suppose a half-marathon at this point is a bit of a long shot since I haven’t been disciplined in my running until the past month, and I’m getting side cramps at three miles, so maybe I’m not ready yet. We’ll see how things go in September.

Running with Little G0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Friday August 22, 2008 at 9:15 am)

In my frustration about not having enough hours in the day to run regularly, I have revisited the idea of running in the evenings while pushing Gabriel in the Bob Revolution. And you know what? It’s much more delightful in many ways than running alone is. It adds a great deal of difficulty to a distance run having to push that thing – plus the 25 pound boy sitting in it. I mostly avoid the steep hills because I’m afraid the stroller might take off on its own if I lose control of it. However, overall, it’s working well. Last night we went for a four mile run through Judkins Park, across 23rd Avenue and MLK, JR into Smith Park, through the Mount Baker tunnel, and onto the I-90 pedestrian bridge. Gabriel sat very quietly through the first two miles, taking in his surroundings, enjoying the cars on one side and the water on the other, and every now and then will look up at me as I say hello to him to remind him that I’m still there. On the way back home, he eagerly babbles, says “mamamamama,” and starts laughing for no apprent reason. Hopefully he laughs because he’s feeling very contented.

I hope that his accompanying me on some of my runs will model an example of fitness for him, so that when he is old enough he will want to run too. 🙂

And I’m back again1

Posted by jodi in Ramblings on Running (Sunday July 27, 2008 at 10:14 am)

After yet another running hiatus I have returned again. Gabriel turned one year old on July 14th! When that happened, I could not believe how quickly an entire year had passed, and along with celebrating my little guy’s first year of life and the wonderful events during it, I also faced the harsh reality that I had not been exercising regularly during that time.

During the month of April, I was working at our VA Hospital, and during that stint I worked with a neurologist who insisted on taking the stairs. <gasp> I used to be an avid supporter of stairs, but had fallen into the “elevator-takers” category over time. At the VA Hospital, there are actually two full flights of stairs between each floor, and the neurology offices are on the fifth floor, so that was quite the workout. However, my boss was motivating enough, and by the end of the month I was in better shape.

In May, I moved onto a two month rotation at Harborview Medical Center, and not only made it a point to avoid elevators, but decided to walk the 1.4 miles to work and home each day (scaling some mega-hills in the process). By the end of June, I was in better shape.

However, July brought me to Children’s Hospital, where I never needed to take an elevator (I came in on the floor where I was working most of the time), and was driving to work because there wasn’t an easily accessible way to get there by bus, plus it was too far to walk in a reasonable amount of time. By the time Gabriel’s birthday rolled around, I was already feeling out of shape again. Bummer.

Last weekend, I got myself out of bed at 6AM and ran three miles. It was rough, and I was sore, but I made it. My goal was to make it down there three times each week at first, and I actually fulfilled my goal at the end of week one. Wednesday morning’s run was easier, and Friday morning’s run was exhilarating! By the time I left for work, I was ready for anything.

So I have set a short-term goal for myself to stay motivated: the Issaquah Salmon Days Rotary Run 10k, schedule for October 5th. I’m going to see what sort of a time I can achieve after time off, having a baby, and being a resident for the past three years.

PS – By the way, thank you for all of the comments about pubic ramus stress fractures. I still continue to receive emails from people (all of them have been women, I think) with either the same injury or professionals trained in rehabilitation who are familiar with these injuries.

Pubic ramus stress fracture update – nearly two years later191

Posted by jodi in Injuries (Wednesday February 27, 2008 at 11:17 pm)

In the late spring of 2006, I posted this entry to my blog after sustaining a stress fracture of my left pubic ramus in the process of marathon training. I am posting a follow-up entry now because I have been amazed at the number of emails I have received from some of you out there about this topic. I don’t mean I’ve gotten hundreds or anything, but probably about a dozen or so since I wrote about my own experience.

As you may have read in subsequent posts, I had a baby in July 2007, a little over one year after the fracture. I became pregnant about five months after the injury, and about one month after feeling that it had recovered. I had initially wondered if the pain from the fracture would return as the pregnancy progressed, but it never did. Even at the end of the third trimester, I never would have known the fracture existed – it was a non-issue.

Another question I receive with some frequency is what I did to get better. The answer: I removed myself from all exercise for three months. It was irritating, because at the time I was quite fit from training, but every time I would attempt to do anything even as low impact as using the Elliptical trainer, the pain was back within minutes. Riding a stationary bicycle doesn’t help, because it requires sitting on the affected area. I finally had to use crutches for several weeks to keep weight off of the left side because it just was not healing.

This does not seem to be as uncommon of an injury as I initially thought – now that I’m aware of it, I have met many people who have friends or acquaintances who have had the same injury. I have not yet met a man with the injury – it really seems to hit women.

I have not run a marathon since the injury, but this is more for reasons of time and motivation than anything. I think I will wait until after I am finished having children and they are all done breastfeeding before attempting another one. 🙂

I think that’s all I have to write for now about this. Please feel free to email me if you have further questions.

Another week of regaining fitness0

Posted by jodi in Uncategorized (Monday September 17, 2007 at 9:43 pm)

As mentioned in my prior post, this was the week I finally made it up to 3.1miles/5k. It was a relief, but unsettling to me to realize how difficult what used to be an easy distance is. I’m still running at what feels like a slow pace, but I honestly cannot go faster at this point – pushing it anymore leads to severe side cramps and trouble breathing. Nonetheless, each run does seem to get slightly easier. I’m staying at 5k for my distance for at least another week until it becomes more comfortable.

Anyway, here are the details of my week:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007:

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Time: 37:08 (11:59/mile)
  • Average Heart Rate: 144; Maximum Heart Rate: 174
  • G and I ran through Judkins Park, and this time through the Mount Baker Tunnel to enjoy a view of Lake Washington on a beautiful, clear (and hot!) day before returning home.

Thursday, September 13, 2007:

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Time: 34:25 (11:06/mile) (Splits: 11:41, 11:09, 10:33, 1:02)
  • Heart Rate monitor not worn
  • Workout performed on treadmill

Friday, September 14, 2007:

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Time: 33:54 (10:56/mile) (Splits: unknown – will be explained)
  • Heart Rate: unknown (again, will be explained)
  • G and I ran through Judkins Park to Rainier Avenue, then up Massachusetts Avenue, through Sam Smith Park, and then back home.

Saturday, September 15, 2007:

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Time: 32:29 (10:29/mile) (Splits: 10:53, 10:29, 10:08, 0:59)
  • Treadmill Run

Total Mileage for the Week: 12.4 miles

I have managed to lose my Garmin Forerunner’s charging cradle, so not only am I unable to pull workout data from the device to my computer, but Evan cannot construct maps of my runs, and even worse – I cannot charge the device, so the battery could go! We’re in the process of searching for it, but if it cannot be located, we’ll purchase another one. In the meantime, I’ll stick with the Timex Ironman Triathlon watch for timing on the treadmill, and will only use the Garmin Forerunner when I need the GPS to measure mileage.

Running is still tougher than it ever has been, but it’s getting better. I can finish a three mile run without horrible side cramps now! That’s something.

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